Australia

Bill Shorten to meet with detained refugee Hakeem al-Araibi's wife

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Labor will seek first-hand information from the wife of Hakeem al-Araibi, who is seeking international support to be freed from custody in Thailand.

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten is set to meet with the wife of an Australian refugee and footballer who is facing an uncertain future in a Thai jail.

The case of Hakeem al-Araibi, 25, has drawn international criticism as a Thai court considers an extradition request from Bahrain for him to serve a 10-year sentence related to the Arab Spring uprising of 2011.

He denies the charges.

Detained Bahraini soccer player Hakeem al-Araibi arrives at the criminal court in Bangkok, Thailand.
Detained Bahraini soccer player Hakeem al-Araibi arrives at the criminal court in Bangkok, Thailand.
AP

Mr Shorten will meet with the footballer's wife in Canberra on Wednesday.

Supporters of the detained footballer are now seeking to raise bail money in an effort to free him. 

Bill Shorten wants to meet with the detained man's wife.
Bill Shorten wants to meet with the detained man's wife.
AAP

However, Thai officials have warned Al-Araibi could remain in prison until August while the court decides on an extradition request from Bahrain.

He is fighting the extradition request, saying he faces torture if returned.

In a statement provided to SBS News from Bahrain on Friday, Al-Araibi's family said the two-month detention was "unjust" and constituted "a crime committed by the government of Thailand".

His family stressed his innocence, "based on clear and irrefutable evidence".

Al-Araibi was convicted to 10 years' jail for his alleged role in a 2012 police station attack.
Al-Araibi was convicted to 10 years' jail for his alleged role in a 2012 police station attack.
AAP

"[He] is being accused of a crime that occurred while he was playing in a nationally-televised game in [Bahrain’s] domestic league at the Muharraq Stadium. The game was aired live on the Bahrain Radio and Television Corporation."

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